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NYC councilman wants to ban Central Park carriages
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15:54, December 10, 2007

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A New York City councilman worried the horses that pull carriages around Central Park are being exposed to cruel conditions will introduce a bill Wednesday calling for a ban on the popular tourist attraction, a move vehemently opposed by the city's carriage drivers.

The move comes just months after a carriage horse died when he was frightened by sidewalk musicians and ran into traffic. Queens Councilman Tony Avella and animal rights advocates contend the horses are exposed to cruel conditions and are at risk of injury or death in city traffic.

Animal advocates backing the plan include "Friends of Animals," who called the move to ban carriages "overdue."

But the Horse and Carriage Association is fighting back to protect its industry. It says the city's 220 licensed carriage horses are in excellent health.

Group spokeswoman Carolyn Daly called Avella an "ill-formed, publicity-seeking opportunist."

It is not clear how much support Avella's bill has in the 51-member council. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that the horses are cared for and should remain a New York City fixture.


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